‘BOLD AND PAINFUL PROPOSALS MUST BE MADE AT THIS NPC’ – ANCWL

Bathabile-Dlamini2Staff Reporter

Unity of the African National Congress, full representation of women in all sectors of society and not just the ANC, expropriation of land without compensation, the fight against violence directed at women and children, are some of the policy matters the President of the ANC Women’s League, Comrade Bathabile Dlamini said the league will bring to the ANC Policy Conference.

The ANC is currently holding its 05th national policy conference in Nasrec, Johannesburg.
Dlamini is optimistic that the ANC will come out of the conference stronger and united. “The values of the organization have always been what brings us together to assist us where we disagree. South Africans want to see an ANC that speaks with one voice and an ANC that is truly a leader of society.  The Women’s League, as a constitutional structure of the ANC, will therefore advocate for a united ANC that does not compromise on its values,” she said.

On land, Dlamini is adamant on the need to accelerate the pace of land restitution and redistribution.  “If you look at the issue of the land, it is the only clause that has a timeframe in our Constitution and it may take years to change the Constitution so we believe that if we do not take this bold step now, we may never get the land back to its rightful owners,” said Dlamini. She also stressed that the ANCWL supports  land expropriation without compensation and will continue advocating for it during the policy conference.

On the emancipation of women, she said the league would like to see the resuscitation of the committee on women emancipation. She said the full representation of women in all sectors should not only be an ANC matter but it should find itself properly articulated in the private sector and other political parties too.

“There is a tendency to find women surrounded by men whenever they occupy positions of power subtly implying that women need assistance from men for everything they do and we want to ensure that this does not become the norm!” She said another matter that was concerning is the removal of women from office before their term ends without any investigation.
The ANCWL President said it was clear that women across all sectors of society in South Africa were tired of the violence that is meted on them. She said this was an area that women were vocal about and wanted more stricter and more stringent laws to protect them.”Women in our country still need to explain themselves when they are being violated everyday of their lives. We have listened to different voices on how we should deal with the violation of women and their children and we have heard them, so we will bring it to conference for debate,” she said.

Dlamini says it is time for the ANC to take the hard and painful decisions so that the lives of South Africans can improve. The National Policy Conference ends on the 5th July 2017 when its recommendations for a final decisions to the National Conference in December will be presented.

THERE IS MORE THAT UNITES US THAN DIVIDES US, SAYS ANCYL

maineStaff Reporter

The African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) believes current divisions within the organization have more to do with leadership contestations, than matters of ideology or policy.

ANCYL President Collen Maine was speaking on the side-lines of the ANC’s 5th National Policy Conference (NPC) in Nasrec.

“Our opponents are expecting us to come here and tear each other apart, fight and kill the ANC.” This should not be allowed to happen, Maine says.

What will emerge out of this conference is that we should present to the public that the ANC, as it has promised them, has used this platform (the NPC) to self-correct as a movement, he says.

In order to forge greater unity within the organization, Maine believes it is critical to do self-introspection and to diagnose what is actually dividing the movement.

“The ANCYL is of the view that there are no fundamental differences on the issues of policy; the issue is the upcoming elective congress. What is important is that the leadership of the ANC must sit down and strike a deal that will unite the organization,” says Maine.

On whether he is in fact referring to a ‘consensus list’ he said he was of the view this was a possible route to consider.

He cited the example of organizational renewal recommendations of the ANC in the Northern Cape to increase the number of National Officials from six to nine, saying “ we must follow their example which we should use to unite the organization… so that not just one bloc takes the whole nine, we must bring everybody on board, taking into account the character of the organization.”

“The ANC is a broad church, let us bring everybody on board and we will have dealt with all of these major issues,” he says.

He adds that it is important that branches be guided, because ‘in the main, the divisions in the organization are not in the lower structures, it is at national level in the leadership structures.

On what the ANCYL’s key priorities were for the NPC, Comrade Maine cited free education, the scrapping of experience for posts, and the nationalization of key sectors of the economy.

He said the ANCYL noted that President Zuma in his opening speech to the NPC

“appreciated that the country was getting younger, therefore issues that affect young people should be given priority.”

Maine says that the ANCYL concurs with sentiment expressed by President Zuma in his speech about the unity of the organization.

“If we can just unite amongst ourselves for the sake of the ANC..the ANC is the only hope of South Africans, so we dare not tear it apart ourselves,” says Maine.

On what measures the ANC should institute to accelerate organizational renewal, he said the ANCYL believed it was time to relook at the structure of the National Executive Committee (NEC) because they believe the structure is too bloated- and as a result is unable to deal with issues.

“The size of the NEC must be reduced but secondly but there also needs to be agreement on the number of officials,” says Maine.

The ANCYL also believes there needs to be a second Deputy Secretary-General who will focus on monitoring and evaluation. “As it stands now they depend on government and ministers to do this vital function. The organization must monitor and evaluate itself,” Maine says.

On what the ANC can do to accelerate radical economic transformation, Maine believes the key ingredient is ‘decisive leadership.’ “We have been discussing these things, resolving about them ten years back.. on the issues of the land for instance, we’ve got good resolutions but the ANC is not moving.” He adds: “what we need is the implementation of our own resolutions,” that would be the most important thing.

PRESIDENT ZUMA CALLS FOR ‘RETURN TO CORE VALUES OF THE ANC’

IMG_6631Staff Reporter

President Jacob Zuma says a return to the core values that have defined the historical character of the African National Congress (ANC), such as selflessness and collective leadership – will be critical to reunite the organization.

President Zuma was delivering the opening address at the ANC’s 5th National Policy Conference that opened in Nasrec, Gauteng on Friday. President Zuma said the policy discussions over the next few days of the NPC must be rooted in party unity, which, said President Zuma, was ‘the rock upon which the ANC was founded.’

Unity must be the thread that keeps the ANC and the country together, he said.

President Zuma noted that the NPC was being held at a difficult period for the country economically. The economy had entered into a technical recession and discussions at the policy conference would need to look at what needs to done to reignite growth over the next five years.

Despite these challenges, President Zuma noted that equal consideration needed to be given to the considerable progress made by the ANC government in consolidating democracy and expanding access to a better life for all.He cited a vibrant civil society with an independent judiciary, a free press and an extensive social security net for the poorest of the poor, and the expansion of basic services to the poor amongst the democratic gains achieved under the ANC government since 1994.

Furthermore, ‘the ANC has increased access to economic opportunities to black people who were excluded before through several economic programmes,’ the President noted.

The Conference will need to deliberate on the pace and quality of ANC programmes, as government strives to undo the damaging effects of apartheid, he added.

Turning to present challenges facing the organization, President Zuma said that historical context was key: noting that “the movement has faced several challenges over the past few years in the changing terrain of struggle that has impacted on the character of the organization.”

The ANC President said that there was a worrying development of what he termed ‘negative tendencies’ that had ‘caused frustration and disillusionment’ amongst the population at large. The ANC needed to ‘cleanse itself’ of these negative tendencies, the President said.

Within the organization itself, he cited patronage, corruption, social distance, factionalism, abuse of power, slate politics, membership system anomalies such as reported manipulation of membership data and bulk buying,  as negative tendencies.

He also singled out the tendency of ill-discipline, saying that “some leaders and members of the ANC have become primary conveyors of negative information about their own movement” which needed to be stopped. Instead, members and leaders should handle matters within the organization.

Importantly, he said, “this perpetual negative messaging by our own people has a negative impact on the economy.” Moving forward, a balance would need to be struck between the ANC’s valued trait of self-criticism, with the need to protect the ANC and provide it with the space to resolve problems in a more organized manner.

President Zuma noted that it was not the first time the ANC had discussed organizational renewal, as this was done before every conference.

“This time, however” he noted, “we must discuss it not for the sake of it,”  but in order to come up with a united, strong focused and cohesive ANC.

“The ANC belongs to the people of SA and we must fix it so it can continue improving the lives of our people,” President Zuma said.

President Zuma also addressed a wide-range of contemporary issues such as the election of leaders of the movement, rooting out corruption, and the contentious and thorny issue of ‘state capture’ – noting that a judicial commission of inquiry had been established.

On policy matters he touched on matters of the funding of higher education, the lowering of data costs, and promoting gender equality.

“To applause in the hall, he said that the NPC would deliberate at length on advancing the status of women.

Ultimately, President Zuma’s keynote address contained the overarching message that the NPC needed to come up with concrete and tangible recommendations that would ‘direct the movement back to its core business and character.’

“We must draw on lessons from the past 100 years and what led to the ANC surviving to be the oldest liberation movement on the continent” said President Zuma. Amongst these were its deep roots and connection with the people, a culture of vibrant internal democracy and collective leadership, a readiness and willingness of members to make sacrifices for the people and the ability to adapt to changing conditions and rise to the occasion at critical moments.

“These traits have made the ANC the parliament of the people,” he said, adding that despite current challenges, the ANC still represents the hopes, dreams and aspirations of millions of our people.”

The people of South Africa who love the ANC “want us to resolve our difficulties and work towards transforming south Africa and building a better life for all,” the President said.

The President then reflected on the policy imperatives before the NPC: emphasizing that ‘the economy remains our apex priority,’ and that the last National Conference of the ANC in Mangaung resolved to embark upon the Second Phase of Transition to a National Democratic Society, that would be more radical.

He explained that radical socio-economic transformation referred to a fundamental change in the structure, systems, institutions and patterns of ownership and control of the economy in favour of all South Africans, especially the poor, the majority of whom are African and female.

President Zuma said the ANC government would use the Constitution, legislation and regulations, licensing, BBBEE and other transformation charters, the national budget and procurement, State Owned Enterprises, government programmes and Development Finance Institutions as ‘instruments’ to accelerate radical socio-economic transformation.

In conclusion, the President said that the ANC had reached a centenary and beyond because of its ability to ‘rise to the occasion to deal decisively with problems that threatened its very existence’.

Calling on delegates not be ‘defeatist’ in their deliberations, he called on them to come up with solutions to the challenges facing the movement and the country.

“The ANC”, he said: “must and will emerge from this policy conference stronger.”

NPC OUTCOMES MUST SHOW ANC IS A LISTENING ORGANISATION – MBETE

balekaStaff Reporter

National Chairperson of the African National Congress, Comrade Baleka Mbete, has set the tone of the 5th National Policy Conference currently underway at the Nasrec Expo Centre in the south of Johannesburg. Speaking during the opening session of Conference, Mbete reminded delegates that the Conference is held during the year the ANC has dedicated to the memory of liberation giant and former President General Comrade Oliver Reginald Tambo and that this should serve to urge delegates to deepen unity within the organisation.

 

‘I call upon all of us comrades, as we go in and out of here, as we go up and down the precinct, to remember that we must unite in how we conduct ourselves as cadres of the movement. Even in the songs that we sing we must unite our movement’, Mbete said.

 

Mbete further called on the delegates to remember the voice of the people. ‘We have heard our people. Bakhulumile abantu. Abantu bakhuluma ngokusithanda, bakhuluma nangentukuthelo (the people have spoken. They have spoken of their love for us but they have also spoken of their irritation with us)”, Mbete said.

 

She asked that ‘in everything comrades do in this conference they must remember the sound of the voices of the people. Outcomes of this conference must show that we are a listening organisation, Mbete emphasized. ‘This is an organisation of Oliver Tambo who taught us how to love one another, to be humble, while being steadfast in our convictions and beliefs in the values of the organisation’.

In her remarks the National Chairperson emphasized the importance of ensuring that the ANC emerges from the conference united.

“The movement must be united to make our former leaders like Oliver Tambo and those that came before us proud. We must be disciplined throughout this conference and delegates must desist from singing divisive songs. Unity is very important for the ANC” said National Chairperson, Ms Baleka Mbete.

 

The ANC National Policy Conference is being attended by delegates from ANC branches from all nine provinces across the country.  The conference is taking place from 30 June to 5 July 2017.

 

President Jacob Zuma in his opening address further emphasized unity and appealed to delegates to discuss the issues frankly and help the ANC to dicisively address them to accelerate the people’s struggle.

 

 

COSATU CALLS ON NPC TO DISCUSS POLICIES THAT EFFECTIVELY ADDRESS TRIPLE CHALLENGE OF POVERTY, INEQUALITY AND UNEMPLOYMENT

SDStaff Reporter

COSATU President Sdumo Dlamini says the trade union federation is looking for policies to emerge from the ANC’s National Policy Conference that will take forward the second phase of the National Democratic Revolution: namely radical economic transformation.

President Jacob Zuma in his opening address to the NPC late Friday said the ANC had to return to its core values of unity and selflessness. Comrade Dlamini concurred with the President’s words, saying COSATU regarded the unity of the organization as paramount.

“He (President) was very firm on the unity of the Alliance and the Unity of the ANC and we really appreciate that because it will guide the delegates” says Dlamini.

“We are looking towards policies from an ANC that are uniting.”

To adequately address the triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment, says Dlamini, “we have to drum up ways and means so that the policies we come up with help us decisively deal with this problem.”

On matters of organizational renewal, he said: “The ANC has got to think hard whilst we can keep the tradition, we have to say how do we go forward in keeping with modern trends.”

Comrade Dlamini posited the question: “Are we going to be the ANC that was there in 1985? I don’t think so. Time dictates we must do things differently.. including how issues of leadership are handled”

On strengthening the Alliance, he said: “the ANC is the leader of society: what should be the character of the ANC that leads the Alliance: this is going to be key.”

On what the ANC needs to do to accelerate radical economic transformation, he said the transformation of land ownership was a priority, considering that “the majority of land still resides with a few white males.” The transformation of the financial sector was also key, because “the financial sector is still controlled by a few culprits” making it impenetrable.

“We have got to drum up policies that change course in that space” he said. Within this context an examination of the role of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) would also be critical.

The issue of workers in the country was a priority for COSATU he said, adding that the issue of the use of labour brokers was still contentious despite attempts at sectoral reform.

“The crisis in the mining sector has got to be at the center of our discussions – and what do we do with the threat of retrenchments from a number of mining companies” said Dlamini.

That the country was in the midst of a recession was actually an opportunity, Dlamini says. “It (the recession) can be turned into an opportunity to come up with means to do things better.”

Ultimately, he says, unity is paramount.

“We have no choice, unity, unity, unity..cohesion is what has got to be at the center of all that we do.”

ANC TREASURER-GENERAL HAILS STUDENTS AS THE VANGUARDS OF TRANSFORMATION

Zweli Mkhize 2
ANC Treasurer-General Dr. Zweli Mkhize has affirmed the organization’s support for the call by students for the transformation of higher education, and for broadening access to tertiary study for indigent students in particular.

He was speaking at the annual National Conference of the South African Union of Students (SAUS) in Mpumalanga late last week.

In his keynote address, titled: “Organize and Unite the Student’s Voice for The Advancement of People’s Education for People’s Power”, Mkhize said the ANC supported government in its quest to find a lasting solution to the problem of funding for higher education.

At the same time, he lauded the current generation of students for their mobilization around the issue, saying they had “defied all the pundits and analysts who decried the level of political consciousness and activism of the current youth.”

Quoting the famous dictum by Franz Fanon: that “each generation must discover its mission, fulfil it or betray it, in relative obscurity,” the Treasurer-General noted that there would be a strong delegation of student leaders attending the upcoming National Policy Conference (NPC).

He told delegates: “We need to you to articulate these concerns you have on the model linked to the banks… leadership will be there to listen to the concerns and the proposals you wish to emphasize, including the welcome debate on the financial contribution we need the private sector to make in building the country’s human capital.”

In his keynote address the Treasurer-General located the issue of the Radical Transformation of Higher Education in South Africa within the broader terrain of struggle for the radical transformation of the country. The transformation of higher education, he said, “needs to be understood through the lenses of the overall political economy terrain of the South African development discourse.”

He said that the ANC was acutely aware of the shortcomings of the state in funding higher education, but was even more acutely aware of the difficulties faced by students in accessing higher education. He cited unexpected living expenses, high costs of accommodation, as well as book and other academic fees as contributing to shortfalls that make it difficult for full-time students to survive on financial aid provided by the likes of NSFAS.

These were all “barriers of entry to education for many students especially those from low income households and retards our program for socio-economic transformation.”

He cited the example of having on the election campaign trail met an Engineering student who was lodging in an informal dwelling in a hostel in Johannesburg. Moved by the student’s plight, he said the ANC had to assist to raise funds for his accommodation.

“Children from poor households should not be prejudiced by their poor circumstances from obtaining education. This message coming from students has been loud and clear,” Mkhize said

The Treasurer-General said the ANC looked forward to the Heher Commmission concluding its tasks and speedily tabling the findings to create the basis for a permanent and sustainable solution to the funding of higher education.

At the same time, he noted that we needed to “put into context all the matters beyond the provisions of the model that was meant to address the missing middle and families with multiple students at university” as well as the issue of well resourced parents who are capable of educating their children.

On curriculum reform, Mkhize noted that there was an urgent need for review of the university curriculum, saying it was “incomprehensible” that we still can produce unemployed or unemployable graduates in a modern economy when adequate research should be available to train our youth on the skills that the economy needs and will absorb.

He said critical questions needed to be asked on the way in which our institutions of higher learning impact on communities around them; but also on the way in which our university curricular are adequately preparing young people for the kind of jobs needed by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“We need an innovation fund to assist youth to experiment on new solutions and create businesses which did didn’t exist before and we need to change mind-sets to look at what ventures even institutions can participate and stimulate students to be more creative,” said Mkhize.

Addressing SAUS directly, he described them as ‘leaders of students’; and made a plea for “a culture of patience and tolerance.”

He called on the student leadership to come up with a mechanism to limit protests to peaceful marches, pickets and demonstrations – that does not involve the destruction of critical infrastructure.

“How,” he asked, “do we create a culture of dialogue and put more pressure to authorities without destroying investments made to guarantee us a better future?”

 

In conclusion he made a rallying call to students in the words of Anton Lembede, who said: “We need young men and women of high moral stamina and integrity, of courage and vision. In short, we need warriors. This means we have to develop a new type of youth, not the pleasure-loving, frivolous, dissolute, light-minded type, but youth of stoical discipline, trained to endure suffering and difficulties.”

CHAMBER OF MINES SEEKS INTERVENTION ON MINING CHARTER

The African National Congress has met with the Chamber of Mines following concerns raised by the Chamber about the revised Mining Charter announced by Mineral Resources Minister, Comrade Mosebenzi Zwane last week. The meeting attended by ANC Secretary General, Comrade Gwede Mantashe, Treasurer General Zweli Mkhize and members of the Economic Transformation Subcommittee led by Chairperson Enoch Godongwane was held at Luthuli House yesterday.

The Chamber of Mines is the mining industry employer organization representing 67 companies which are responsible for the production of 90% of South Africa’s mineral production. It defines its key role as “the facilitation of interaction among mining employers to examine policy issues and other matters of mutual concern to crystallise and define desirable industry standpoints.” The Chamber met with the ANC to voice its dissatisfaction with the “flawed process”, the content and the “continuing consequences” of the Mining Charter.

In the meeting representatives of the mining industry called on the ANC to intervene and mediate in the impasse between the industry and the Department of Mineral Resources. “We want to go back to the negotiating table with government in order to emerge with a solution that must work for both parties. Through thorough negotiation, as we had in the development of the first and second Mining Charters,  we are confident that we may come up with an outcome that responds to the urgent national imperative of transformation whilst retaining the vision of a globally competitive mining industry” said the industry.

In particular the Chamber decries what it has called a lack of consultation on the amendments in the mining charter claiming that the new Charter is “fundamentally different from the draft Charter published in April last year.” According to the Chamber, “the content proposed has very draconian measures most of which are brand new ideas which being parachuted into the new Charter after extensive discussions had already been held.”

The Chamber also laments the break down of trust between itself and the Department of Mineral Resources and has committed to participating in any type of mediated process to restore trust between the parties.

Substantive issues that the Chamber of Mines objects in the new charter include the directive to distribute 1% of turnover amongst BEE partners before any distribution to shareholders. The inclusion of naturalized citizens as beneficiaries of that Charter was likened to the act of “feeding the neighbour’s children before you are able to feed your own”, arguing that South Africa has not yet manage to empower its own citizens yet now proposes extending these minimal opportunities to naturalized citizens.

ANC Secretary General Cde Gwede Mantashe has committed to raise the issues brought forward by the Mining Chamber within the organization and with its deployees in government.

Mantashe emphasized the need to accelerate the pace of change in the mining sector, warning however of adopting a reckless approach to enforcing transformation. “We have a responsibility to mitigate between a conservative and adventurous approach to the economy. Yes there are problems and transformation in the mining industry is not happening at an acceptable pace.When there are problems populism comes to the fore and in the process destroy what is already there” says Mantashe.

The Chamber has called on the ANC to ensure policy certainty and work with the industry restore investor confidence. “Through a process of co-creation..” government and industry must “embrace imperatives of transformation on one hand within a framework that can make the industry attractive and investable”. The Chamber impressed upon the ANC to intervene calling for the “political leadership of the country to prevail upon government to suspend the application of charter and send the parties back to table for a mediated discussion. Through such negotiations we can craft an outcome where the Charter can be owned, defended and implemented by all stakeholders.”

NATIONAL POLICY CONFERENCE TO PROCEED AS PLANNED

Staff Reporter

The African National Congress will hold its 5th National Policy Conference from the 30th of June until the 5th of July 2017 at the Nasrec Expo Centre, Gauteng Province.

Speaking in an interview with ANC Today, the ANC Deputy Secretary General, Comrade Jessie Duarte assured South Africans that the National Policy Conference scheduled for this month will proceed as planned.

“We offered the veterans and stalwarts of our movement coordinated in a grouping called ‘101’ two days (30 June until 01 July 2017), attached to our policy conference, in which they would participate fully in whatever manner they wish to, to raise issues that they wanted to raise. They have declined. It is not us, the ANC, who called it off. They declined to participate with our branches in a discussion” Duarte said.

Asked about the next steps the organisation will follow in relation to the two days which had initially been set aside for the discussion with the stalwarts, Duarte said  “We were obliged to continue with the debate and discussion. We have kept the two days unchanged and there will be very robust discussions about challenges facing the organisation. There is no cancellation, we will continue as planned”.

“During these two days, Conference will receive a Diagnostic Report from the Secretary General then discuss this together with presentations on the progress in implementing the National Development Plan (NDP), the Strategy and Tactics of the ANC, as well as the Organisational Renewal document.

“We are hoping that out of the discussions on organisational renewal and strategy and tactics, we will be able to emerge, after seven days, with clarity on how we deal with challenges that face our organisation. We will also look at our successes and the extent to which ANC  policies have been impactful to change for the better the lives of the people of South Africa”

Asked about challenges facing ANC, the Deputy Secretary General spoke at length about gatekeeping, use of money to influence members and the narrative of weak leadership.

“Each generation has its own challenges and finds its own solutions. The organisational renewal document encompasses all the views that have been expressed by all, including; people in the group called ‘101’, even independent people who have spoken about their own feelings” Duarte said.

On gatekeeping, Duarte said “We are going to look at our organisation. It is not a general condition in the ANC that every branch is in a crisis, or every region is in a crisis. There are problems about gatekeeping in some areas, that must be dealt with”

On the so-called use of brown envelopes (buying of votes), the Deputy Secretary General cautioned against generalisation and had a stern warning on those who use money to influence the thinking of members and/or delegates.

“That is another generalisation that we must deal with. Yes, there are people who go around with money to try and influence thinking of people. That is criminal offence, as far as we are concerned. Where this is happening, we want to start charging people criminally. It is not really our constitution that must enable to do so, but it is in fact the laws of the country, because that is fraudulent behavior”

On the narrative of weak leadership, Duarte said “That is a judgement call. One would have to analyse that and look at how previous NECs have performed. We must analyse our achievements. We want an atmosphere of productive criticism, self-criticism, and out of this develop a productive programme of action, so that we move forward”

The Deputy Secretary General expects that Radical Economic Transformation and Land restitution and redistribution will be at the heart of discussions. “‘Our focus is on giving practical expression to the program of Radical Economic Transformation and the resolution of the land question. That will occupy the minds of people in terms of wanting to see resolutions that give effect to the need to accelerated resolution of these challenges” Duarte said.

“We have prepared our delegates very well. People have been having political discussions in branches, regions, and provinces, robustly so. We are expecting productive engagements” Duarte added.

“Throughout the Policy Conference there will be a variety of views and all of these are welcomed. As part of the 4300 strong delegation there will be people who are not, technically, branch delegates. We have invited amongst others former NEC members, Churches, Trade Unions, NGOs” Duarte concluded.

ANC MUST TAKE UP THE FIGHT AGAINST FEMICIDE

A man should have self-respect, respect for women and be disciplined.

This was the stern advice ANC Secretary General, Comrade Gwede Mantashe issued to men at a Youth Month Rally, organized by the ANC OR Tambo Region, in Libode.

“We will never be free until we reclaim our streets and when girls are able to walk at night without fear of being hurt” Mantashe said; adding: “people who are in a better position to solve this problem are men. A man should have self respect, respect for women and be disciplined”.

“It must be our role as the ANC to fight against the rape and the killing of women. These brutal acts can’t happen in our communities” Mantashe said.

In recent weeks, the country has been faced with a number of reports relating to the abduction and killing of young women. The cases of amongst others, Karabo Mokoena and Thembisile Yende made national headlines.

Speaking on what needs to be done to deal with such killings, Mantashe called on the youth and communities to take up an active role in the fight against femicide.

“Let us convene anti-crime street communities.. we must take responsibility for our streets and communities” Mantashe said.

The Secretary-General also used the opportunity to reflect on the importance of Youth Month, the successes of the 1944 ANC Youth League (ANCYL) generation and the role of young people today.

“When we celebrate the heroism of the youth, we shouldn’t only trace them from 1976, but from 1944, when the ANCYL was formed. The youth league of 1944 led us for 5 decades from 1944 until 1994” Mantashe told supporters.

He expanded on the role the 1944 youth generation played in the struggle against the apartheid regime.

“In 1961, when the ANC was banned, young people took an initiative to form Umkhonto weSizwe, they swelled its ranks and led the movement until 1994″ Mantashe said.

On the generation of 1976 Mantashe said “The youth of ’76 fought against the imposition of Afrikaans. They succeeded. That is the role of young people who have a purpose. Young people should have a purpose at all times, because they are the future, present and past”

On the #FeesMustFall student protests, he said: ”When young people demand that #FeesMustFall, we must not be afraid and disown them. We must know that it is a duty of a young person to be bold and adventurous. Being bold is about fulfilling their youthfulness”

Mantashe emphasized the need to explain the successes of the ANC government to the youth.

“When there are protests regarding education, ANC becomes a victim of its own success. When ANC took charge of this government, black students at universities were 150 000, they are now over 850 000 today”.

“There are many black and young people who have now joined the so-called ‘middle class’ stratum. That is a product of the success of ANC policies” Mantashe added.

“Young intellectuals are critical and analytical. They protest against e-tolls, not because they don’t want development, but, because they add to their cost structure. There is nothing wrong with fighting that”

On the role of young people in the ANC today, Mantashe called on young people to choose between being part of factions and/or to be part of the solutions to ANC problems.

“Young people of today, must choose the role they want to play. They can choose to be part of a muddy faction, going around criticizing people they don’t agree with, or position themselves to be part of the solution to the problems facing the ANC”.

With regards to discussing names of potential ANC leaders, the Secretary-General called on young people to assess the track record, strengths and weaknesses of their potential candidates.

“We must ensure that we avoid accidental leadership succession. Accidental leadership succession is a product of corruption and factionalism”

“If we don’t do that the movement will decline. Decline of an organization is not just numbers. It doesn’t start there. Numbers are an indication and symptom. Decline starts on our ethical behavior. If our behavior is unethical, we don’t have revolutionary morality, the movement will decline” Mantashe said; adding that unethical behavior dented the values of the ANC, broke the traditions of the movement and would lead to its irreversible decline.

“The December Conference is going to be a critical cog in saving the organization. Let us be serious and send out a clear message, that we are in a muddy situation and we want out of it. Unity of the ANC is important. Unity of the ANC and Alliance will take us out of the problems we are facing” Mantashe said.

“We have a responsibility to unify the ANC and restore the people’s confidence in their movement,” he concluded.

ANC DELIVERS MESSAGE OF SUPPORT AT RPF CONGRESS

ednaStaff Reporter

The African National Congress (ANC) has expressed its solidarity with the ruling party of Rwanda, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) at the party’s Extraordinary National Congress held last weekend in the Rwandan capital, Kigali.

The chairperson of the ANC’s International Relations Subcommittee, Comrade Edna Molewa congratulated Rwandan President Paul Kagame for his country’s significant achievements under the leadership of the RPF. The the RPF’s Nine-Point Political Programme bears similarity to the ANC Strategy and Tactics.

The relatively small country has managed to achieve consistently high economic growth rates and is widely regarded as one of the strongest economies on the continent. Rwanda also consistently ranks high on a number of human development indices.

The ANC and the RPF enjoy longstanding fraternal ties. The peoples of the two countries also share ‘a shared birthday’, having experienced political rebirth in 1994. President Kagame visited South Africa in 2001 where he was warmly received by the ANC and President Mandela.

The RPF like the ANC was founded on the premise of forging unity amongst the people of Rwanda following a devastating and bloody history that sought to tear the nation apart. The RPF like the ANC faces the task of nation-building whilst simultaneously addressing a legacy of skewed development that advantaged certain groups over others.

Rwandans will go to the polls in August to elect a new President, and the ANC expressed its support for President Kagame, saying the party would ‘always continue to nurture and build bridges as well as build friendship and solidarity with the people of Rwanda.’

Comrade Molewa noted that South Africa and Rwanda “shared mutual experiences and struggles from a social point of view, economically, culturally, and also people to people,” adding that this was “within the context of the sovereignty of our respective countries.”

She reiterated that South Africa would continue to work with President Kagame and the leadership of the RPF in building a unified Africa. She added that the ANC recognized the role played by the RPF in the growing prosperity of the people of Rwanda.

“You are really making us proud,” Comrade Molewa told the Congress delegates.

She told delegates that the ANC would soon go to a National Policy Conference, followed by a National Conference; and that the ANC would be at both conferences making the point that South Africa is an integral part of Africa.

“If Africa fails, South Africa will fail…if South Africa fails, Africa will fail.. if Rwanda fails, Africa will fail, she said to resounding applause.

The subcommittee chairperson told the Congress the ANC looked forward to working together with Rwanda in implementing Agenda 2063 of the African Union. “We will work together to silence the guns on our continent, and we will work together to bring about prosperity of our nations,” she said.

Molewa conveyed the message from the leadership of the ANC that the organization remained committed to working with the RPF, and congratulated the RPF on the hosting of a successful and well-run Congress.